Feeding Coventry is an independent charity working towards a hunger-free Coventry by 2020 and the development of sustainable and just food policies. Feeding Coventry is made up of community organisers, academics, City Council representatives, and local business people. Since 2016, the group have been developing local projects designed to prevent and relieve hunger, and to support reforms at a national level to reduce the nation’s vulnerability to hunger. Feeding Coventry is also a member of Feeding Britain.
Coventry Food Charter
Finalised in June 2017, this Charter sets out a vision for what we can do about food poverty if we work together. It recognises the need to deal with both emergency food crises and the development of a sustainable and secure food system. It also recognises the need to treat the ‘food issue’ as one consisting of many elements.
The Coventry Food Charter is the result of a process of consultation, discussion and consolidation that started in June 2016 and concluded in March 2017. The final version of the Charter therefore represents the culmination of a repeated dialogue between Coventry citizens, City Council members, food growers, academics, and representatives from the business and third sector, all geared to identifying five central pillars of a ‘food policy for all’.
We need your help to make this Charter a living document and take the principles described forward into your personal and professional lives.
Background on Feeding Coventry
The City of Coventry has been struggling in recent years with significant problems of malnutrition, food poverty, and limited access to nutritional food. This has been highlighted in the well-publicised expansion of the work of the Coventry Food Bank. In response to this, the Feeding Coventry Working Group was established in 2016 with the twin objectives of identifying, encouraging and delivering the most effective measures available to combat food crisis while working towards achieving universal food and nutrition security.
However, the working group has also, simultaneously, represented a space in which to discuss and develop innovative and comprehensive approaches to food poverty and food security. For instance, it has taken steps to align its activities with the principles of Sustainable Development Goal #2, according to which ‘ending hunger, achieving food security and improved nutrition, and promoting sustainable agriculture’ are objectives that cannot be considered separately.
Together with emergency interventions, such as the provision of support for community projects providing food during school holidays in the most marginalized areas of the city, and concerted efforts to provide advice services for food bank users, the Feeding Coventry Working Group has retained a long-term approach. This is reflected in a belief that addressing food sustainability and food security issues is not just a matter of supporting emergency interventions for the needy, but also an opportunity to create new jobs, to educate the general public about sustainability and seasonality, to consider the environmental impacts of food waste, to recuperate lost knowledge, and, overall, to strengthen a sense of community and the participation in city life.
If you want to know more about the work of Feeding Coventry follow us on twitter (@FeedingCoventry).